Orientation for New EMWA members: Prague 2020 Spring Conference

Are you still undecided if you should join the EMWA conference in Prague 2020? Still calculating whether the benefits outweigh the costs of attending the conference? Or better yet, you’ve decided to go but have not yet decided on your itinerary? Here in this short article, I outline how a new Member can benefit THREE-FOLD (why 3 read ahead) by joining the conference.

1. Networking

Tuesday 5th May (19:00 onwards): Networking Reception

As a new EMWA member, you will be given a Green badge and this will make it easier for experienced Medical writers to welcome you to the association and share their insights. Besides, all the green badges can band together and form a tribe on this exciting journey towards a career in Medical Writing.

Thursday 7th May (9:00 to 13:00): Getting into Medical Writing

This session has two parts. First, leading experienced Medical writers from several companies will share their thoughts on literary skills, personality traits and soft skills expected in a prospective Medical writer. The second part includes a Career coaching and CV/LinkedIn profile clinic with Jules Kovacevic (Head of Medical Writing, Ergomed Plc) and Debbie Jordan (Freelance Writer, Debbie Jordan Ltd). You could arrange a 20-minute meeting with Jules or Debbie, please contact info@emwa.org. This free session is provided for all EMWA members, even those who have not registered to the conference.

Further, you could network with people who might be looking for interns or prospective employees in this session.

Thursday 7th May (17:15 to19:00): Freelance business forum

Freelance business forum (FBF) is another exciting event where topics that impact freelance Medical Writing will be discussed in a semi-informal way. There is normally an invited guest speaker who shares her experience in the field and this is followed by a roundtable discussion on various aspects of the field. The topics could range from importance of cybersecurity, business skills needed, types of contracts and how to deal with international clients.

FBF is open to all EMWA members and could be informative for new members and experienced ones alike. This 1.5 hour event is ripe with possibility for in-person networking.

2. Essential skills training and Professional Development

Cost effective workshops on 6 core aspects of Medical Writing at two levels: Foundational and Advanced are provided in the conference (see table). You could choose from a broad range of courses or specialize in one area, which is of great interest to you. This is quintessential in a field like Medical Writing, where most of the skills have to be acquired on the job and such courses are a great help. Make sure to register early for these workshops as places are limited and could be filled quickly depending on demand. Previous attendees suggest to prepare for the workshops and complete the pre-assignments, which are valuable to get the most of the courses. Further, an EMWA foundation certificate can be obtained by completing sufficient credits in one area, for. eg. Drug development. This is a valuable addition to your CV/LinkedIn profile to prove your commitment towards the field. For more details about the certificate, check the EMWA Professional Development Programme Brochure on the EMWA website.

Thursday 7th May (13:30 to 16:30): Introduction into Medical Writing
Sarah Hopwood is Head of Medical Writing at Scinopsis, a consultancy based in France and the UK. She will give talk titled “Introduction to Medical Writing”, on topics ranging from types of Medical Writing, what skills are needed and what avenues exist for employment. This session is free for all, even for the general public.

3. Fun

Prague is an enchanting “Old” “Alpha“ global city. The walks through Charles bridge, a visit to the Old Town Square with the Prague astronomical clock and any one of the impressive Gothic Churches are some of the highlights of my previous visits to the city. The organizers have planned walking tours at the end of day to the historic Prague castle and a tour to the Old Town of Prague inc Beer Museum. If its your first time in Prague, there is a lot that could entertain and captivate you about this city.

Also do not miss the 50th EMWA conference celebration on (7th May) and EMWA dinner (8th May). They could provide you an opportunity to find interesting and like-minded people and possibly make friends for life and future collaborators. Do not overlook this aspect. One senior EMWA member confided in a webinar that she receives 90 percent of her work from EMWA networks.

SO fun, frolic and joy awaits you in Prague. See you there.

Thanga Bhuvanesh

A new EMWA member to other newbies.